With the fight to retake Mosul from ISIL now underway, International Medical Corps’ team in Iraq is ready to provide life-sustaining support to families who will flee the city to safe areas as military operations advance and life threatening battles are waged.
“We are extremely concerned for the families in and around Mosul,” said Joan Carey, International Medical Corps’ Country Director in Iraq. “It is hard to imagine many families would willingly remain in the middle of what could be a long, brutal fight to retake the city, but those who do try to flee could face unthinkable violence. Though we are uncertain exactly how it will unfold, we know a large-scale humanitarian crisis is likely. Families in and from Mosul will need our help, and our teams stand ready to provide medical care and other vital assistance.”
In what is expected to be one of the largest and most complicated humanitarian crises this year, International Medical Corps’ health facilities and mobile teams will be there to provide triage and medical care, support for survivors of gender-based violence, mental health care support, and other critical services to people forced from their homes by violence.
About 3.3 million people are already displaced across Iraq, including 1.2 million from the area surrounding Mosul. Hundreds of thousands of additional people could flee Mosul in the first few weeks of the military operation led by the government of Iraq to retake the city, and more people will likely try flee as the battle wages on. Many of these families are likely to leave their homes with nothing but the clothes on their back, and they will need support including shelter, food, water, and medical care to survive.
International Medical Corps has been working in Iraq since 2003, and is currently reaching approximately 650,000 people a month across seven of Iraq’s 18 governorates. International Medical Corps is providing medical care, mental health and psychosocial care, supporting the survivors of gender-based violence, and providing other services that help protect the health and well-being of families forced to flee their homes because of conflict.